Archive for February, 2012

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Against Breast Cancer – Recycle Your Bras!

February 27, 2012

Bra Recycling

Recently I read an article that suggested women are hoarding their bras, building up their collections – most of which remain unworn – simply because they refuse to get a proper bra fitting.

Quite possibly there’s some truth to this. Before I knew my real bra size, I owned numerous bras in countless incorrect sizes, thinking they were just badly made, or the wrong shape for me. Years later, I realised what an enormous hoard I had, and I was only wearing about 25% of them. I decided that my bra stash was getting ridiculous, and wanted to do something useful with them them…recycle. I bundled them up and sent them to a bra charity.

I think the time has come again; I very much need to sort through my collection and recycle my abandoned bras, and so should you girls!

My charity of choice this time round, is the very noble and worthy Against Breast Cancer.

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK, with 1 in 8 women being at risk. In the UK in 2008, almost 47,700 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, which is around 130 women a day. This is where Against Breast Cancer’s groundbreaking research comes in.

Against Breast Cancer need to raise approx. £1million per year to fund their research team at the University of London. They are a small charity in their 20th year, and rather than spend money on advertising campaigns, they choose to use their donations to study new ways that could help doctors identify and treat breast cancer faster and more effectively.
Their Diet & Lifestyle study is the largest of its kind in the world; it has recruited 3390 breast cancer patients from 56 hospitals throughout the UK, and monitors the woman, her tumour, her response to the tumour and her environment.

As they do not receive any government funding, Against Breast Cancer relies on us women to send in our unwanted bras. They receive £1000 per tonne – that’s a lot of bras!
It costs them £50 just to analyse a blood sample, so they need all the help they can get, and we should be doing all we can to help them.

Bra Bank

There are many ways to get your bras to ABC – you can post them to the following address: Against Breast Cancer, Leathem House, 13 Napier Court, Barton Lane, Abingdon, OX14 3YT (and mark your package ‘Recycling Scheme’), or simply find a Bra Bank near you where you can drop them off. They will soon be posting a list of Bra Bank locations, but for the meantime, you can find more information here.

So come on ladies, let’s do something good – it’s time for an underwear drawer spring clean, and don’t forget to get properly fitted!

Rob Fleming - Against Breast Cancer

For more updates, ‘like’ Against Breast Cancer on facebook, or follow them on twitter @againstbc

Love

Sophia xxx

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Are celebrities bad bra role models?

February 20, 2012

We’ve all heard the statistic that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, but no one really talks about why.

Countless times I’ve heard the phrase “but a DD is huge” or “a G-cup is glamour model size isn’t it?”, and often, these phrases come from women.

Both men and women need to be more bra-aware. How do cup sizes and band sizes relate to each other?
The most imporant thing to remember, is that a cup size means nothing without the band size. A 28DD and a 38DD are vastly different sizes.
The volume of a cup from a 28DD bra is equal to the volume of a 34B. If you held those two bras side by side, they would look the same size (excluding the band).

If you wear a 34E, and you find that the band is a bit loose, the next step is NOT a 32E. Each time you decrease the band size, you must increase the cup size – so a 34E with a smaller band becomes a 32F and vice versa.

DD+ cup sizes have somehow become taboo. There are jokes made about women based on bra size, and implications that if a woman over DD does not look like Christina Hendricks in the bust area, that surely she must be wrong about her size. These jokes and ignorant assumptions are so outdated, especially when there is so much more information about bra sizing available to us. Despite this, many women still insist on wearing the wrong size.

It is precisely this sort of thinking that bothers me – as I have blogged about before, Christina Hendricks is apparently something like a 38DD or 38DDD according to the media. Now whether she has confirmed this or not, I don’t know, but I don’t see why a woman in the public eye should let us believe she is a size that is actually incorrect. Frankly, that’s just being a bad role model for all the women out there unsure of their correct size. I have heard many a woman say “but I’m not as big as Christina so I can’t be over a DD”, and this really skews our perception of women’s bodies. (I speculated at the time that she was probably a 32H/32HH).

But, Christina is not the only one, she’s just a more obvious one. There are many more celebrities who really need to do a little more research to find out their correct bra size. Here are a few that come to mind:

Beyonce:

Beyonce is the ultimate independant woman, which is why this one stresses me out so much. She’s been both slimmer and curvier through the years, but always seems to be in the wrong bra size. Her gorgeous figure looks squished in that yellow bikini, and even in her very popular Best thing I never had video, she is wearing a basque where the wires are pretty much lying directly on her breast tissue; it’s even more obvious when watching the video. She is probably around a 30E.

Liz Hurley:

What can I say, Liz just never looks supported in the bust area. All her bras seem far too big in the band and small in the cup. Famously an advocate of diets and being slim, she is well known for once saying “I’d kill myself if I was as fat as Marilyn Monroe”. She claimed that having seen Marilyn’s dresses, she wanted to get out a tape measure to check the vast size. I get the feeling that as her breast size has increased over the years, she has refused to accept that she’s bustier than she once was, as quite clearly the label matters more to her than what she actually looks like; some role model.
A well fitting supportive bra could do wonders for her shape, my guess is that these days she’s more like a 30FF or 30G.

Tyra Banks:

The gorgeous model claims that she is a DD, but with what looks like a back size of about 28, it’s quite clear she’s bigger than a DD. More likely a 28GG or 30G. On the left she’s squeezed herself into a very small bra, and on the right, you can see that the band of the red bra is loose and not supporting her.
Tyra has embraced her curves as they grown over the years; I really think if Bravissimo could get their hands on her to measure, that she would be very surprised with the outcome. She could be a great role model with the correct size.

Sofia Vergara:

With roles such as Gloria in ‘Modern Family’, it’s hard to know whether Sofia creates this big cleavage-y look on purpose. I get the feeling she doesn’t know her real bra size, but I’d guess quite similar in size to Christina Hendricks. In my opinion, Sofia looks to be a 30HH, but most likely if she wore her correct size, she wouldn’t have her beloved chin-high cleavage effect.

Kelly Brook:

The bra on the left has a band that is far too loose, not giving her any lift or support. On the right, it’s a cup that is far too small, cutting into her breast tissue on the side (I’m certain that minus the airbrushing on that one, it would be far more obvious). I’d put Kelly at a 28H, possibly 30GG.

Katherine Heigl:

Katherine Heigl

Gorgeous, but often wearing a bra or bikini that is a few sizes too small. I’d put her as a 30F/30FF or similar.

The fact is, whether these women know it or not, they are putting out a really distorted idea of breast sizes. It’s no wonder 80% of women don’t know their own bra size, because these are the sort of references we have.

Take a look at the following picture of D/DD sized women, with varying band sizes:

D-DD Cup Sizes

And next, a picture of G/GG sized women with varying band sizes (65 = UK 30 and 70 =UK 32).

G-GG Cup Sizes

It just goes to show that you cannot estimate a cup size without estimating the band size too. There are far more sizes out there than A-DD, and we all need to be more bra-aware.

If you think you are wearing the wrong size, try putting your measurements in Curves and Corsets bra calculator (the most accurate one I have come across) and see what you get: Bra Calculator

A great place to go and get measured professionally, is Bravissimo, I highly recommended them for both the fit and service.

Love

Sophia xxx

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The Winter Blues

February 17, 2012

As some of you already know from previous posts, blue is my favourite colour. Blue clothes, blue shoes, blue ring, blue nail-varnish (blue hair if I could), and of course, blue lingerie.

In the cold weather, for me, blue is even more wonderful to wear. The child in me feels like a snow girl when I wear blue in the cold, so I’m always trying to get my hands on new blue bras.

I purchased two blue bras recently that I hoped could be great everyday bras this winter. The Flirtelle Vineyard bra (or possibly Viniard, because they have two different spellings on the Brastop website), and the Fantasie Elodie bra from Leia Lingerie.

So far I have loved the Flirtelle bras, the Sublime bra is made of very sturdy material and is a real winner for me. The Vineyard, while not so sturdy, was lovely in a completely different way.

Now, while the Sublime bra fits me best in a 30GG, I had heard that the Vineyard was a little tighter in the band. I decided that to be on the safe side, I would order a 32G. It’s good thing I did too, because the 32G fits perfectly.

Flirtelle Vineyard Bra

The bra is made of a lovely delicate mesh material all over (similar to the Freya Arabella), and has beautiful detailing on the cups. I loved it at first sight, the pale blue was just the sort of colour I had been looking for.

Flirtelle Vineyard Bra

It fit me the same way the Curvy Kate unpadded bras usually do, which is generally good if you are quite wide-set. It’s a very naughty but nice bra all at the same time – it looks cute and girly, but it’s also a little see-through; there’s no hiding what’s underneath!

Definitely a winner in my opinion!

Next we come to the Fantasie Elodie bra.

I absolutely love the fit of a Fantasie bra; they are really supportive and really beautiful at the same time. The Elodie has the same shape as many other Fantasie bras I’ve tried, and felt like a similar fit to the Sylvie bra that I have written about in the past.
Online, the colour of the blue Elodie bra looked gorgeous! I was really excited to get another lovely blue bra, especially a Fantasie one.

Fantasie Elodie Bra - Blue

Sadly, as great as the bra was, it didn’t look very blue in real life. As there is a grey version too, originally I thought there had been a mix-up, and I had received the wrong colour by accident. However, it soon became clear this was the blue version. Such a shame given how lovely the colour looks on their model version.

Fantasie Elodie Bra - Blue

The fit, as with most Fantasie bras, was great, and it is a beautiful and supportive bra. Fantasie bands generally run slightly looser, so I got this in a 30GG, which was a perfect fit. Unfortunately, I was after the kind of blue that makes me want to gaze at the bra lovingly all day, and this one just wasn’t it for me.

In the meantime, I’ll continue on my hunt for blue lingerie!

I’m planning to write a post soon about celebrities in badly fitting bras, whether they know their size or not, and how this affects the way society views larger sizes. If there is a celebrity that comes to mind when I say this, feel free to mention it in the comments below. I have no doubt there will be quite a few I haven’t remembered 🙂 .

Love

Sophia xxx

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Star in a Bra 2012

February 7, 2012

Yes ladies, it’s that time of year again – Star in a Bra!

For those of you who don’t already know, I entered Star in a Bra last year, and was lucky enough to make it through to the final 10.

Now let me tell you a bit about it.

Star in a Bra is run by the lingerie company Curvy Kate. Every year they begin their quest to find a curvy DD+ girl to model for the brand. The idea behind it is to have models that represent the public, and women we can relate to. It’s no good having a B-cup girl modelling a bra for someone who is a J-cup – how can you know what the fit will be like on a larger size? Curvy Kate start their bras at a D, and a 28 band, and go all they way up to a 44 band, and a K cup.

Be the next Curvy Kate!

You may be reading this and thinking “I’m not a model” or “I’m too shy to walk around in my underwear in front of anyone”, but from my experience, about 90% of the girls who enter feel that way. I thought that way too, but what have you got to lose? Be brave ladies, they are looking for curvy girls, women who are down to earth and willing to give it a go, and you certainly don’t need any previous modelling experience. If your friends or family see the photos, so what? This is for you, and you can encourage other women to be proud of their bodies, and show how a correctly fitting bra should look. That 80% out there still wearing ill-fitting bras need role models to help them, and no woman should have to struggle so much just to find a decent fitting bra. You could be that role model.

If anything, just being part of the competition is a massive confidence boost. Whether you get picked or not, you get to put on all your favourite lingerie, pose and have a little fun while you’re at it. The thing is, you never know, you might get picked. Be happy and confident in your photos, and they are sure not to miss your smiling face.

Star in a Bra 2011

My friend and current Curvy Kate model, the lovely Lizzie Haines, won the competition last year, and it’s easy to see why.

Lizzie Haines

You just need to look at her lovely smiling face in her entry photo to see she’s happy and confident. Even so, she’s publicly said she has body insecurities (not that we can see why of course) but the point is, everyone has them, even the most beautiful women.

Those of you who read my blog while I was still in the competition, know that I had a hard time accepting the final photos and the way I looked, but I don’t regret being part of it. You need to get rid of those old insecurities (easier said than done, I know) and just take everything in your stride. I am a different person to the girl I was when I entered the competition, but it is all for the better, and I hope I can encourage others to enter. It is a wonderful experience.

I made some great friends by entering Star in a Bra, and in fact, this blog wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t taken the plunge and gone for it. Those girls made it all worthwhile. The lovely Astrid Lopez and Kelly Parks aren’t in the photo below, but they are in spirit. 😛

Hannah Rowe, Me, Lizzie Haines, and Georgina Horne

Details on how to enter the competition will soon be up live on Curvy Kate’s facebook page. ‘Like’ the page and keep an eye on it, the competition launches on the 23rd February. You will have to enter three full length lingerie or bikini shots, and two head shots – although make sure your head is showing in all the pictures!

Curvy Kate needs your Curves!

Go on girls, be brave and enter!

Love

Sophia xxx

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The Bettie Mae Bra

February 7, 2012

Lovely girlies, I’m back after the delay in posting – I have now finally moved house, and can return to having regular internet and consequentially regular blogging! 🙂

A bra I bought just at the end of last year was the Bettie Mae bra by Bravissimo; the first padded plunge bra made by Bravissimo themselves. It comes in a much wider range than the deco which has been very well recived by bigger busted women. The band sizes run from a 28-38, and come in cup sizes ranging from DD-J which will definitely suit the smaller backed bigger busted of us out there, as well as many other difficult sizes.

The Bettie Mae Set

It has a very unusual colour, one which I wouldn’t normally go for, and something I might call a ‘burnt orange’. In real life, it is a very pretty bra, and has a slight sheen to it. It’s perfect for this cold winter with its warm glow, reminiscent of a warm cosy fire.

Bettie Mae - Bravissimo

It looks very shiny when using a camera flash, so I’ve taken a photo without flash so you can get a better feel for what it really looks like.
It’s lightly padded, so has a softer more squishy feel to it than a deco would, and the band has a bit of stretch to it. I would recommend perhaps sizing up one size in the cup, and choosing your smaller band size. I am wearing this in a 30GG, but I really feel a 30H would be more comfortable, as the GG gives me a little sideboob.

The plunge is quite nice because it gives a subtle cleavage, often the kind you might want for work. Not only that, but it’s a sexy bra too, and let’s face it, it’s not often you find a comfortable everyday bra that’s a gorgeous evening bra as well – a great mix.

The Bettie Mae also comes with the choice of briefs or a thong (I personally love the cute bow on the back of the briefs!)

The straps are fully adjustable, and the fit and comfort of it reminds me of Bravissimo’s Poppy bra (unpadded), and I would suggest that if you’ve tried the Poppy bra, that you will most likely be the same size in the Bettie Mae.

At the time the Poppy bra came out, I didn’t have the chance to review it – it’s actually a lovely everyday bra for me, and I wear it quite often. It’s an unpadded plunge bra, which is very soft, and very comfortable too. I also have this in a 30GG, but again, as with the Bettie Mae, I could really do with a 30H. The design is beautiful, and the black lace really works well against the beautiful poppy pattern.

Poppy Bra - Bravissimo

For comfort, Bravissimo bras are definitely 10/10.

Love

Sophia xxx